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Hope in Christ…Sharing a Bit of My Heart


This morning I felt the Lord encouraging me to share a bit of my heart with you. I got my phone ready to take video, and I began pouring out my heart. I saved the video to my phone, and then I proceeded to upload it to my Facebook profile. Lo and behold though, technology had other plans. After draining the battery on my phone more than I would have liked and failing to upload the video, I decided I wasn’t going to let a bit of technology stop me. Maybe the enemy doesn’t want you to hear this word of encouragement, or maybe technology was just being annoying. Either way, I know God wants you to hear this word of encouragement so I will be relentless in getting it to you.

If you haven’t figured out by now through other things I have shared, I absolutely love Elevation Worship. There is such an anointing on their music. I feel like I can reach out and touch the face of Jesus when I worship to their music. So this morning I played a song from their latest album titled, “Your Promises.” The words struck a chord in my heart. I began to get weepy and get chills. I felt as if I was in the very throne room of God.

Here are a few words from this song:

It doesn’t matter what I feel
It doesn’t matter what I see
My hope will always be in Your promises to me
I am casting out all fear
For Your love has set me free
My hope will always be in Your promises to me

I am going to be transparent with you for a moment. I try my best to be as transparent as possible with my life, because I want to be real with you.

Some of you already know some of my life story, and others of you are just now joining me on the journey. And for those of you who are just now joining me on this journey, I want to share a piece of my story that you may not know. I struggle with what is called secondary infertility. Secondary infertility is when someone has been pregnant before but for some reason hasn’t been able to get pregnant again.

I didn’t wish for this. I didn’t hope for it. I didn’t plan on it. I never thought it would be part of my story. But it is part of my story. It is a part of my story that is difficult, painful, and exhausting. It is a part of my story that is confusing. It is a part of my story that I am not sure of. But nonetheless, it is part of my story.

As I worshipped this morning, the words I shared with you above hit me. God reminded me that it doesn’t matter what I feel or see in the natural, He is bigger. He is stronger. He is able. What may appear impossible in the natural is possible with Him.

My friend, you may not be on a similar journey as me, but I know there is something in your life that you didn’t hope for, you didn’t want, or you didn’t plan. But God desires the best for you. He loves you with a crazy intense love, and He will go to the very depths of hell and back for you. He will take your brokenness and your darkness, and He will turn it into something whole and full of light.

I promise you that putting your hope and trust in Jesus Christ will never be a decision you regret. I can’t imagine doing life without Him. I can’t imagine having to walk this part of my journey without Him. He is why I can look past what the natural is telling me, and I can believe that there is hope. He is my hope. He is your hope.

Please reach out to me if you ever want to talk or want prayer. I love you sweet friend, and I know God is absolutely crazy about you.

My Hope
Hope in Christ,
Jaclyn

I’m on an Adventure


I have had some moments lately. Moments where I want to ask Jesus to step aside and let me handle the situation. Moments where I have wanted to put on my boxing gloves and ask to be put in the ring. Moments where I wanted to say, “Hang on a minute. Let me take my earrings off,” and push up my sleeves prepared to fight.

Yes, all 5 foot 2 inches (go with me here, my drivers license informs me I am actually this tall) me can be a bit of a spit-fire. I have it in me to stand as tall as I can and try to take on whatever it is that is coming against me or my family. Speak with my brother or parents and they will tell you Jac is feisty and fierce when backed into a corner.

But I have also been reminded that it’s not my place to take things into my own hands. I am not supposed to handle the situation on my own. I don’t have to snatch my earrings out and push my sleeves up. My God has it all under control.

As a pastor and a pastor’s wife this can be difficult to do at times. Trusting God to take care of it all can be difficult period because our flesh wants control of it all. But in ministry, letting it go and trusting that God has a plan and a purpose even during the difficult valleys can be challenging. That sounds crazy I know. I mean, I am in ministry. What could possibly go wrong or be difficult about walking in the calling God has given you? Dude, it’s intense. Ministry is not for the weak at heart. It is not all gummy bears, rainbows, and butterflies. Sure Noah received a dove, but only after 40 days and 40 nights of what I am guessing felt like a nightmare.

I get asked about my thoughts on being a pastor and being a pastor’s wife, as well as what it is like planting/starting a church. All of these are exciting and scary all at the same time. God has called Brian and I into an adventure with Him. And it’s an adventure that can be what feels like a nightmare at times and an adventure that feels like the sweetest dream. But either way it is exactly what God has called us to. I will stand by my husband as he walks in obedience with God and what God is leading him to do. I will walk in obedience to what God leads me to do. I will choose the adventure over pleasing everybody else. I will choose Jesus over having everyone like me. I will choose Jesus over skipping over the difficult times.

This is what I have to remind myself of when I have my “moments.” You see, if I allowed every little bump in the road to sway me one way or the other, how could I truly follow Jesus? How could I walk in obedience with Him if I allow my ears to be tickled by everything? I couldn’t, and I don’t want to risk not walking in obedience with Him.

I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I won’t be the most popular person amongst certain circles. I won’t always be thought highly of. And I am choosing to be ok with that. Why? Because I am always Jesus’ cup of tea. He always loves me and values me. And He has called me to the front lines to help spread His Kingdom. And that is what I plan to do.

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God Is Close to the Brokenhearted


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This morning as I was driving in my car I had Jesus Culture playing. I usually have some worship album playing in the morning to set the tone for the day. And Jesus Culture is one of my favorite worship bands. The song playing as I drove was “Heaven is Here,” and the words seemed to just be a bit louder this morning. They seemed to stick a bit more than any of the other times I have listened to this song.

Here are the lyrics:

We won’t stop crying out to Him
Cause He hears us everytime
Yeah He hears us everytime

We won’t stop pouring out our love to Him
Cause He loves us everytime
Yeah He loves us everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

We won’t stop going out to Him
Cause He meets us everytime
Yeah He meets us everytime

We won’t stop living only for Him
Cause He’s faithful everytime
Yeah He’s faithful everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to God
Shake up eternal signs

Cause heaven is hear now
He’s all around us
Heaven is Jesus
It’s the moment we meet

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you 

These words really were echoing in my head, “We won’t stop crying out to Him cause He hears us every time…We won’t stop pouring out our love for Him, cause He loves us every time…We won’t stop going out to Him, cause He meets us every time…We won’t stop living only for Him, cause He’s faithful every time.”

This morning my heart was breaking, as it is another month of not being pregnant (if you haven’t followed my journey up till now, check out my past posts in regards to infertility and my faith). Another month of feeling defeated and crushed. Another month of feeling as if the enemy was doing a victory dance on top of my head and laughing the whole time, as I sobbed on the inside and then began sobbing on the outside.

BUT GOD. God knew all of this even before I woke this morning. He knew how my heart would break. He knew the defeat I would feel. He knew the lies the enemy would feed me. And He knew He would be there for me no matter how crushed I was. And He chose to speak to me through a song. He chose to remind me of His faithfulness, His love, His strength, and His hope. He wrapped His arms around me as my mind began whirling in a hundred different directions. As the questions began coming like a freight train. As insecurity and doubt began creeping in. As the enemy began throwing his fiery darts at me, my God became my shield and my fortress and my comfort. As He ALWAYS is.

Once the song ended and another song began to play, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Choose joy.” I sat in my car and began saying that to myself…”Choose joy, Jaclyn. Choose joy.” I firmly believe that one of the enemy’s biggest weapons against us is our own feelings. He was trying his best to get me to sink into a dark place this morning, and just like the faithful Father that He is, God showed up and began speaking life into me.

Am I still brokenhearted that I have no celebratory news of a little Turner this month? Yes, but I know that my God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3) and “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). So I can keep crying out to Him, because I know He DOES hear me every time. I can continue pouring out my love for Him, because He DOES love me every time. I can go out to Him, because He WILL meet me every time. And I can continue living only for Him, because He is FOREVER faithful. The enemy is a liar. My God is my everything, and I will praise Him despite my feelings. I will praise Him even if I have questions. I will praise Him simply because He is The Great I Am, and I know He loves me more than I can ever fully understand.

My friend, I have no idea what you may be experiencing or what lies the enemy might be telling you, but what I do know that God will never fail you. He will always be there for you, and He will always be your shield. Drive into Him even if you don’t understand. Drive into Him even if you can’t feel Him. Drive into Him even if you can’t see Him. He is there. I promise you that.

More Than Just a Name Tag


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This morning as I was driving in my car and listening to my new favorite worship album (ONE “A Worship Collective” We Believe Live…isn’t that a mouthful), I found myself in conversation with God. I just begin praying to Him (don’t worry my eyes were open…yep, you can still pray with your eyes open *gasp*). My heart was burdened for the lost. My heart was heavy and breaking this morning over the ones who have yet come to know Jesus personally. 

Yesterday I preached about 1. Receive Jesus as King. 2. Feel as Jesus Feels. 3. Share Jesus. And the second one really has stuck with me. You see as Jesus neared Jerusalem we read these words in Luke 19:41: 

                                             “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.” 

The Greek word that is translated today in our Bibles as “wept,” doesn’t just refer to a simple tear streaming down the cheek of Jesus. No, it means a gut-wrenching sob. So Jesus was was sobbing, possibly uncontrollably, over the city of Jerusalem and the people of Jerusalem. Why? Because He could see the lost. He could see the outcome of those who didn’t receive Him as King. A life without Jesus is a purposeless life that will lead only to death. Jesus saw that and it broke His heart. 

So I found myself burdened with this thought this morning. The thought of a life without Jesus. Not only for myself, but everyone. As many curve balls life can throw, I wouldn’t want to do life without Jesus. I can’t imagine it. 

I began thinking about how some people say they want Jesus and want to have a relationship with Him, but yet their life reflects an entirely different choice. They wear the “Hello my name is ‘Christian'” name tag and that is about it. They wear the name tag by going to church on Sunday, but do nothing with the message they heard from the pastor. They wear the name tag by owning a Bible, yet they never read it. They wear the name tag by professing that they are a Christian and believe in Jesus, yet they wallow in sin daily. 

This breaks my heart. Now, please hear my heart in all of this. I am in no means trying to put myself up on a pedestal as some “holier than thou” Christian. I am not that at all. I have had wallowed in my own sin mess. I have days when I am not the best expression of Christ. I say things that I shouldn’t. I get angry when I shouldn’t. I find it hard to forgive at times. But I recognize these things, and I press into God because without Him I am nothing. Without Jesus, I would be a hot mess. Without Jesus I wouldn’t stand a chance against sin…it would consume me. 

                         “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

            “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

I don’t want to just sport a name tag that says I am a Christian. I want my life to show that Christ lives in me, and that He is received as King in my life. And I want that for everyone. There is no greater joy than that of having a relationship with Jesus. There is nothing in this world, no amount of drugs, sex, alcohol, pornography, foul language, material possessions, and anything else this world offers, that can compare to having Jesus Christ as your Lord, Savior, and King. 

I pray that as you go throughout this day that you would allow the Holy Spirit to stir within you. Allow Him to move in your life. Let Him purge you of everything that is not of Him, so that He can fill you with everything that is of Him. I pray that you can’t imagine going through life without Jesus. My friends, He will totally change your life for the better. I promise you that.

Grace & Peace, Jac

Peace I Leave You…Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled


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There has been some crazy weather happening lately. I mean, one day it is snowing in East Alabama and the next day it is 75 degrees. It’s enough to make you ask, “What the mess is up any way?” And on top of the crazy weather there are other saddening and heart-breaking events occurring all over. It really is hard to turn on the news and hear anything good. I know. I get it. I understand, and feel ya on that one. And with all of these crazy and sad things going on, I have noticed a lot of social media posts and blog posts turning our attention to the end of times. Let me just go ahead and let you know that this post is going to be different. It isn’t like the other posts floating around out there. But it will have some similarities…I suppose. 

I am a follower of Christ. I believe in Him, know Him as my Lord and Savior, and love Him more than I can put into words. I am forever thankful for His great love, mercy, and grace that He has extended and shown to me. I do believe He will come to restore the earth and all of creation, and I believe it could happen at any time. Where I differ in most of the other posts is that I don’t go all, “Hide yo kids! Hide yo wife! Stock the pantry and stop what you are doing because it’s the end of the world as we know it.” Yea, I haven’t jumped aboard that bandwagon. I was brought up in a Christian household where we went to church every Sunday. My Mom had a story about Jesus for everything. And I read the book of Revelation during worship service almost every Sunday (yea, I had a fascination with that book of the Bible). I have been made aware of Jesus’ return and that it could happen at any time, and I should always be prepared. But I wasn’t told to go into panic mode and focus only on the end of times. 

I can remember my Mom saying, “I think Jesus wants me to live for Him every day, and if I am only focused on His return then how can I make sure that I am being Christ to those around me.” Yes, we should always be aware and be ready, but I don’t think that it should be our sole focus. If I begin trying to interpret every event and happening and running around like Chicken Little, then I stop showing love, being love, and doing all of the other things Jesus laid out for me to do in scripture. And I am also one who steers clear of books, people, and teachings that claim to know when, where, and how about Jesus’ return. Why? Well, because I am a firm believer that if God didn’t disclose this to His Son, He isn’t going to disclose it to Billy Bob. 

Please do not think I am discrediting the return of Jesus, because I am not. I believe He is coming. I believe it will be soon. But I don’t want to play the role of interpreter and predictor. I want to just be the disciple of Jesus that He has called me to be, and to make sure that I am doing everything possible to point people to Him. 

Be blessed friends. 

Grace & Peace, Jac

Trusting in Him


Today I find myself thinking on this journey of infertility yet again. Seriously, it’s very consuming. Even when I try not to think about it, somehow my mind goes right to it. I see a post on Facebook of someone announcing their pregnant, or sharing a photo of their precious baby. I see a woman loving on her baby out in town as she runs errands. Someone asks me a question in regards to how things are going, or “do you want any more kids?” (because they don’t realize the journey I am on). Yep, it pretty much consumes my thoughts. 

Charts. Tracking. Articles. New research. Hoops. Hoops. Hoops. And more hoops. 

I feel like a flipping science project some days, and on other days I feel like a complete failure in this area, and then some days I am full of hope. Anyone walking this journey (or that has walked this journey) can completely understand the wild roller coaster of emotions. And just when you think you have a handle on our emotions, you flip out or melt down just like that. Hello crazy! 

I am not sure why some people get pregnant by just thinking about it, while other people can’t seem to get pregnant no matter what they do. It just doesn’t seem fair. Not at all. Yes, I catch myself going down this road every now and then. Just let me be real with you. It’s not pretty. I really don’t want to have the urge to scream at the young single girl who keeps popping kids out left and right. But the truth is, I do. I really do. I feel like Paul when he wrote in Romans 7, “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” (Romans 7:18-19, NLT) A bit of a battle within. And it is just that…a battle. A spiritual battle. A physical battle. A mental battle. An emotional battle. A battle in every way. 

Today I am thinking on how much I hate this journey. Seriously HATE it. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. I am thinking on the fact that I have been pregnant before, and I have a beautiful daughter from that pregnancy (and she is such a blessing). I am wondering why I am dealing with this since I have been pregnant before. Why is it that those who aren’t trying to get pregnant are plastering their “Ooops, it just happened,” statuses and pictures for those of us who would love an “oops, it just happened” to see? Why is it so difficult for those of us who genuinely want a child, to even have our desired child? Why/ Why? Why? My mind is spinning in all directions. 

Then I also am thinking on that even though I feel like my God has forsaken me and turned a deaf ear to my heart’s cries, I know He hasn’t. Even though I have told Him that I am angry with Him and don’t understand, He holds me in His arms and tells me how much He loves me. He holds my hand every step of the way on this journey, and when I feel like I can’t take another step, He carries me. He always carries me and holds me in His hands. 

Oh how I wish I had the magic formula to make all of this better. I so wish I could snap my fingers and find that infertility is just a horrible nightmare and not even real. But I can’t. I’m not God. But He is. And I have to trust Him no matter what. I have to cling to Him even when I feel like letting go. I have to press into Him even when I feel like He isn’t there. Why? Because deep down I know that my God is faithful, loving, merciful, gracious, and full of life. He can turn my darkness into light. He can take my mess and create a masterpiece. 

I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and because of that I will trust in Him. He is my living hope.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcmUYDU-2DY/>Trusting in Him, Jac

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One of Those Days


Today is one of those days where I would love to hide away on a deserted island with absolutely nothing “baby” around. Yes, it’s another month where Aunt Flow arrives instead of a “Big Fat Positive.” I was really hoping for a Thanksgiving announcement, but that just won’t be happening. I really have no eloquent words or thought provoking paragraphs to write down. All I have is raw emotion and an admittance of wanting to pitch a temper tantrum that would make a two year old in the midst of “the terrible two’s” look pretty angelic. Will it solve anything? No. Will it make me feel better? Probably not. But that’s where I’m at. For the moment.

I am trying to remind myself of the message I preached this past Sunday. I spoke on the story of Hannah and how there is grace in the struggle, in the sorrow, and in His sovereignty. To be honest, though it’s hard to see it at the moment. Do I know it to be true? Yes. But can I see it right now? No. All I can think on is how I desire to have a child with my husband and nothing is happening. Nothing. And my mind begins to go into panic mode thinking of how I am about to be surrounded by pregnant family members during the holidays, and I want to scream. Can I eat my dinner in a closet somewhere? Oh, and let’s not forget that the media had to share that Kelly Clarkson is pregnant.

Yes, I know that I sound like a little kid pitching a fit. But this is real. This is something I never thought I would have to deal with personally. This is one of the most draining and difficult things I have ever dealt with, and well as I put it earlier today, it sucks. As I type this I want to breakdown. The depths of my soul cry out for Jesus because I don’t know what to do. He is the only place that makes sense even though I feel like He isn’t making any sense. I know deep down that He makes perfect sense despite my feelings. So into Him I will continue to press.

http://youtu.be/JmVxRl5bc4Y

The Choice is Yours


We all have a story. We all have things that have taken place that have left us broken, left us wounded and scarred. These things can either cripple us or they can propel us into greatness.

We have the choice.

My past is pretty broken. There are some very dark times. There are some gray times. And yes, there are also some bright times. I can either cling to these past moments and allow them to break me down, or I can use them as a springboard to become who God created me to be. I can use them to help someone else.

I choose the latter. I choose to not be broken and beaten down by the things of my past. I choose to not be embarrassed of where God has rescued me from. I choose to see God working for the good in my life.

Friend, the choice is yours. You can cling to your past and let it beat you down, or you can choose to focus on the good that God is working in your life. Which will it be?

My Joy


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I saw this picture as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning. I stopped. I read. I read it again and again. The caption under the picture read, “Let something steal your joy, and you let something steal your strength. Ann Voskamp” That statement struck a chord with me. I had let something steal my joy this morning, and I was sinking fast into a deep dark pit of self-pity. I was angry with God and wanted to fuss Him out. Oh, I have no doubt God can handle my temper tantrums. He’s a big boy, I get that. But why would I resort to doing that? Is it’s God fault? No. Is He the reason for heartbreak? No. Is He the reason for my hurt and pain? No. Does He understand it? Yes. The enemy is the one who comes to kill, steal, & destroy (John 10:10), not God. The enemy prowls around like a lion looking for those he can devour ( 1 Petter 5:8). Not God. Christ came so the I may have an abundant life (John 10:10). He wants to give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). He is life, love, and joy. He is hope. And if I give in to the schemes of the enemy then I have allowed the enemy to steal my joy, and therefore steal my strength.

I believe it was no coincidence that I saw this picture in my feed this morning. I believe it was a word from God. He was reminding me of where my joy comes from. He was reminding me that I must be strong and steadfast. He was reminding me of His great love for me.

I pray this blesses you today, for those of you who needed this word too.

Grace & Peace, Jac

Marriage is Far More Valuable than a Piece of Paper


I saw something yesterday that disturbed me, while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. It was one of those premade quote pictures, and it stated something along the lines about how marriage is just a piece of paper and all you really need is love. Well, a relationship that has a good love going on is great. Nobody wants a relationship that is loveless. But to go as far as to say that marriage is just a piece of paper, well, I have to put the brakes on that one. It makes me kind of sick to my stomach to think that someone has created such a cheap view of marriage.

If you have ever read any of my blog posts then it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I am a Christian. Yes, my faith forms my belief of marriage and shapes how I view it. And yes, I am divorced, so let’s not start trying to throw that rock around (I remarried, by the way). I realize that some of you may not share in my opinion, and I won’t think any less of you for that. But for me marriage is something that should be held to a very high standard. Our society has cheapened it and made us believe that it is far less valuable than what it really is.

God designed marriage. Therefore, I believe, if God designed it then it must be important. It must be much more than just a piece of paper. And if I am to walk with Christ than I must value it more than I would a piece of paper I wrote on. And even further, if I am to walk with Christ I must value my own marriage to the point where I take my vows seriously. I must honor my husband, love him, submit to him (oh yea, I went there….but not in the “I’m his dog” kind of way), cherish him, forgive him, share in his burdens, share in his celebrations, and so on. If I get mad at him over something, I don’t need get my pants in a wad and tell him that our marriage is just a piece of paper and means nothing. I don’t need plan out a divorce plan just because he doesn’t share the same opinions as I do. I don’t need to teach our children that marriage is nothing more than a piece of paper.

Nope, I am in for better or worse. I am in for the long haul. Yep, Brian isn’t getting rid of me. Ha! I don’t want to treat our marriage cheaply. I don’t want either of us viewing our marriage as merely something written down on a piece of paper. I want us both to see how sacred our marriage is. Yes, marriage is SACRED. God holds marriage very highly, and that is how I want to see it too. Look, let me just go ahead and tell you that I am beyond crazy about my husband and love him more than I could put into words. I couldn’t imagine not being married to this man. Maybe that is why I see our marriage as more than just a piece of paper.

I want our children to grow up and have spouses who love the Lord and hold marriage as sacred as it should be held. If I want that for them, then I have to lead by example now. I know I will probably step on some toes here and cause some of you to block me or unfriend me. That’s cool. Blessings to you friend. But I need to share what I feel isn’t said enough when it comes to marriage and relationships. If you are a Christian, then you can’t have a live in boyfriend or a live in girlfriend. If you are a Christian, you can’t divorce your husband or your wife just because you don’t feel like being married any more. If you are a Christian marriage is held to be highly sacred and something you don’t treat cheaply.

I know I have done a lot of rambling and it probably feels like I have been on my soapbox FOREVER, so I won’t keep you much longer. But if you are still reading this, I want you to know that you are treasured and loved child of God. He loves you with an incredible love, and He wants the best for you. That is why He has created marriage to be so sacred. He knows that divorce, adultery, sleeping around, and “shacking up” aren’t the best, and that is why He has given us guidance in these things. Is there grace? Absolutely. God is a God of second chances, so you can always come back. He will always wrap you in His arms and offer you His grace and mercy. But in order to receive His grace and that second chance, we must first walk away from what led us in the opposite direction. Then we must humbly come to Him in repentance and ask Him to show us the way.

So they are no longer two, but  one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate. ~Matthew 19:6, NIV

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. ~Ephesians 5:31, NIV

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

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